What do you know about Yoruba history? People of this ethnicity possess great culture. Which is also a part of Nigerian heritage. Moreover, it is one of the largest tribes in Nigeria. So, let’s find out more information about their language, as many people are interested in it.
You should understand that Yoruba culture is unique. They possess their own customs. The main features are:
Yoruba religion. It consists of religious and spiritual concepts as well as practices of Yoruba people. The fact is, it is made of many different traditions and there's no single founder. It contains their myths, stories, songs, and many other things connected with the culture. There are both Christian and Islamic religions in different tribes.
Music. The fact is that it has become extremely popular. There are many modern singers, who prefer to use Yoruba styles and instruments. Dundun is the most common one. It's a kind of a drum. Their music is spiritual and has special rhythmic structure.
Language. It is one of the most important things for any society. It is mostly used in Nigeria, Benin, and some other countries. However, it is also possible to find its speakers in the communities in America and Europe. It is one of Edekiri languages (which is a part of Yoruboid group within Niger-Congo family). There are also several variations or dialects. It is difficult to find clear boundaries between them. Besides, lots of similarities are found in peripheral areas.
Where does Yoruba language come from?
You can guess that this language has origins in the Yoruba people. According to the legend, they are believed to be descendants of Oduduwa, who has been the son of powerful god named Oludumare. They often refer to themselves as Omo Oduduwa. It means Oduduwa’s kids. As for the historical data, Yoruba people originated from Western Nigeria. All the places, where their language is spoken, are called Ile Yoruba or just Yorubaland. In writing, it first appeared only in the 19th century.
Nowadays more than 65 million people speak Yoruba. Moreover, it's one of Nigerian official languages.
How to speak Yoruba language?
The key thing you must know is that Yoruba is tonal language. Thus, there are 3 of them: high, mid, and low.
Literary Yoruba is separate member of dialect cluster. It is learned at schools, used in news and on radio. Latin alphabet is applied in this language, so any English-speaking learner must have no problems with its sounds.
The current Yoruba orthography derives from report of Yoruba Orthography Committee of 1966. During that time, they put everything in order.
We also offer some advice of how to learn Yoruba language:
- Remember that some of Latin letters are not applied (c, q, v, x, z).
- Pronunciation of letters corresponds to International Phonetic Alphabet equivalents in the most cases.
- Diacritics (lines of dots) underneath vowels indicate open vowels.
- The tones are pointed above the vowel.
It is also good to find a teacher or probably native speaker. Thus, your language might become fast and easily improved.
Yoruba language is vital part of Nigerian culture. Being one of major ethnicities on the territory of the country, they possess great and interesting customs and traditions. Their native language is widely used in popular African music even now. Thus, if you want to learn more about these people, study their history and language.